Good results with Visual Studio 2008 so far

I installed the 90-day trial of Visual Studio 2008 Professional and have just finished getting Paint.NET to work in it. So far, here’s what I’ve run in to, good and bad:

  • The new version of the C# compiler (csc.exe) produces slightly smaller binaries in a few cases. This is good.
  • It can also understand “Vista icons”. That is, you can embed a 256×256 icon with PNG compression into an EXE. With Visual Studio 2005 you could have a 256×256 icon but not the PNG compression or you’d get a compiler error.
  • Apparently the order in which items is returned via reflection has changed. This in itself is fine, but it has exposed a logic bug in my IndirectUI code! It’s a rather subtle bug that is very obvious once you understand it. This was a case where things were accidentally working because “A” had a superset of the properties that “B” had, and my system was always taking the first item’s list of properties and using it for both (which was the bug). Now for some reason, “B” comes before “A”, so “A” is only getting the 2 properties that “B” specifies instead of the 7 that “A” is stating. Oops.
  • They fixed the build parallelism bug that was really biting me! In Visual Studio 2005, the part of the build which created MSI’s using the built-in “Setup Wizard” project type would not block the rest of your build which was properly flagged as dependeing on it, from building. This caused a major race condition for building the MSI and then building the self-extracting EXE that bundled it. To work around that I had to set the maximum build tasks to 1. Now it works great!

These are all good for me. Faster build times and smaller files to distribute.


9 thoughts on “Good results with Visual Studio 2008 so far

  1. pyrochild says:

    “The new version of the C# compiler (csc.exe) produces slightly smaller binaries in a few cases. This is good.”

    Yeah, ’cause that ridiculous 1.5 MB download was really testing my patience. 😉

  2. WJUK says:

    So, you recommend it?

    I was thinking of picking it up the other day. It’s about time I’m actually able to program stuff at home…

  3. Mike says:

    I’ve been playing around with Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition and it is so much better than VB 2005 Express. I say go for purchasing (from the MS Store in Redmond of course) Visual Studio 2008. This does mean that Paint.NET will require .NET 3.5 right? .NET 3.5 installer is just plain huge (200 something MB on the Visual Studio Express DVD ISO) and yes I know that’s out of your control

  4. Rick Brewster says:

    Mike, no you can still compile your assemblies to target .NET 2.0. Once Paint.NET upgrades to .NET 3.5, the download should only be about 50 MB. (“only” … ha). I don’t plan on doing that until version 4.0 though.

  5. Mike says:

    only 50 mb? 😉 I just double-checked and a complete download of .NET 3.5 is 205 mb (perhaps someone at Microsoft should be introduced to 7zip – referring to the Diamond (CAB) team?) using the version included in the VS Express ISO for my measurements. Hmm..I still say go for VC# 2008

  6. Rick Brewster says:

    Mike, if you download the network administrator deployment monster thing then yeah it’s 200+ MB. But that includes .NET 2.0, 2.0 SP1, 3.0, 3.0 SP1, 3.5 … for both x86 and x64. It’s meant to make wide-scale deployment easier. 200 MB isn’t much to beam across a gigabit LAN.

    If you get the 3 MB “bootstrapper” then it goes and only downloads what’s necessary. I tried it on a bare XP x86 box and it only pulled down 50 MB.

Comments are closed.